'Northern California' on Serious Eats

Why You Should Become a Regular at Jodie's in Albany, CA

The joint's six seats place everyone a good word's length from the griddle, the prep counter, the other customers, and Jodie himself—and Jodie Royston is not a man who takes money from strangers. Naturally, it takes only one meal to become a regular, especially when one takes hunger into account. The restaurant's sprawling menu—over 64 specials splayed across two walls in the form of cheeky laminates and repurposed receipts—offers a bounty of flavor beyond the fried chicken leg. More

Street Food Profiles: Roli Roti in Northern California

[Flickr: Gary Soup] Name: Roli Roti Vendor-rotisseur: Thomas Odermatt Twitter: @RoliRoti Location and hours? 27 farmers' markets in Northern California (check out the schedule here) from San Jose to Sausalito to Davis. [Flickr: mercedesfromtheeighties] What's on the menu? Gourmet rotisserie meats such as free-range chickens, heritage pork (made into porchetta sandwiches), and lamb. How long have you been street fooding? RoliRoti started in 2002, but Thomas has been grilling meats for much longer. It all started back in his family's butcher shop in the Swiss Alps where his father Otto taught him the secrets of beautifully grilled rotisserie meats. When he arrived in Berkeley, California, Thomas was taken with the local gourmet food movement but found that the typical... More

Bear Silber Goes from Pizza Eater to Pizzeria Owner

Bear Silber, from pizza eater to pizzeria owner. In December 2006, we blogged about Bear Silber winning a pizza challenge at what was then called Pizza and Pipes. Well, Mr. Silber has gone from downing a 20-inch five-pound pie in less than an hour to owning the restaurant where he pulled off that feat. Now called Pizza Party, the restaurant still offers the pizza challenge deal. You eat the giant pizza, you get a pizza a month for a year. Interestingly enough, Pizza Party's former name, Pizza and Pipes, comes from the fact that it was part of a... More

The 'Chronicle' on SF's Pizzeria Delfina (Pacific Heights)

A Margherita pie from the original Pizzeria Delfina location in the Mission District of San Francisco. Michael Bauer just dropped a review of the new Pacific Heights location. The San Francisco Chronicle's food critic, Michael Bauer, visits the Pacific Heights offshoot of Pizzeria Delfina. (The original Pizzeria Delfina is in the Mission District, where it opened three years ago next door to its progenitor, Delfina.) I had some great pizza at the Mission Pizzeria Delfina not too long ago, but Bauer's criticism—that it's inconsistent—echoes that of many of my pizza spies. Bauer says: After my first visit, when I... More

Market Scene: 'Cold' Weather in San Francisco

It was super cold in San Francisco this weekend—around 52 degrees—so I had to don a hat and scarf and coat in order to go to the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market. Friends and I giggled as we realized how ridiculous it is that we consider the low-50s to be unbearably cold, but such is the life of a Californian. While a friend scoured the market for local gifts for faraway friends, I had a goal of buying some basics to get me through the week. I've been in a bit of a cooking slump lately, so while shopping I focused on the basics that would sustain me for the week but not overwhelm my energy level. Heirloom Organics had... More

Market Scene: Produce and Politics in San Francisco

I attended two farmers' markets last week, and may go to another today. It probably had something to do with the elections. With the exception of writing about the importance of eating locally and supporting small farmers, I don't tend to use my online writing to talk politics. There are many cogent opinions about politics around the Internet, and I don't like to bore you all. But I will say this: Many of us Californians were put through the ringer last week. It was an extremely bittersweet week as we watched the results of the presidential election at the same time as our anti-gay marriage amendment and a proposition to give more freedom to our chickens, pigs and cows... More

Openings: GoodPizza in San Francisco

"This pizzeria in the former SoMa Pizza spot is now open. The crust is thin, artisan style, and pizza pies are sold whole or by the slice. Calzones and fresh baked goods are also available for breakfast." 104 Seventh Street, San Francisco CA 94103 (at Mission Street; map); 415-626-8381 [San Francisco Chronicle]... More

Additions to 2009 SF, Bay Area, Wine Country Michelin Guide

The 2009 edition of the San Francisco, Bay Area, and Wine Country Michelin Guide goes on sale tomorrow. Here's word on the starrage: "The French Laundry remains the sole Michelin three-star selection, Coi joins the ranks of Michelin two-star restaurants, and Murray Circle, Plumed Horse, Trevese and The Village Pub join the Michelin one-star selections." $11.53, from Amazon.com... More

Market Scene: Early Fall in San Francisco

More than 300 people nationwide have signed up for the annual Eat Local Challenge this year. This is my fourth year taking (and leading) the challenge and it's a way of life for me now. Taking the challenge means that I step up my visits to farmers markets during the month-long project, and am more diligent in knowing where my food comes from. In San Francisco, October is a good time to eat local, as there is an abundance of fruits and vegetables in the market. The true overlap of seasons seems to be in October this year, and walking through the market I saw peaches next to persimmons, and winter squash next to summer squash. Tomatoes should still... More

U.S. Pizzaiolos Training Under Italian Master in California

NPR NPR had a nice little story this weekend about U.S. pizza champion Tony Gemignani and the pizza school he opened in Manteca, California. Last time I heard about Gemignani and his school, it had yet to open and he was looking to get a variance to install a wood-burning oven. Now he's brought in an Italian master—Graziano Bertuzzo: "He has the hands of a surgeon," [student Benito] Giordani said. "He takes his hand and puts it on top of yours, and he demonstrates how you push the dough out, how you roll it, how you ball it." The... More

Dear Slice: Check Out My Birthday Pizza Cake!

Clicking in to the Slice inbox today, we've got ... Hi Adam, Avid pizza eater, and Slice reader here. I stumbled upon this secret birthday cake that my girlfriend was trying to hide above the refrigerator last night. Yes, today's my birthday (and, no, this isn't a shameless self-promotion). Instead of angel food or chocolate cake, I'll be eating pizza. Possibly for dinner, too. We're familiar with local pizza spots in San Francisco, but do you have a "must go" for a birthday celebration? Thanks for your help, and long live pepperoni. --Chris C.... More

The Most Influential Chefs in the Bay Area (and Perhaps the Country)

From left: Alice Waters, Tony Gulisano, Charles Phan, Thomas Keller, Paula LeDuc. Photographs from the San Francisco Chronicle Michael Bauer, the San Francisco Chronicle's food critic, kicks off an informative series in today's paper: Many national dining trends have their roots here, and it's where dedicated food lovers and chefs from around the country come to play and get inspired. Great cooks are everywhere - at a neighborhood bar, in a modest storefront restaurant and at haute cuisine white-tablecloth venues. But the Bay Area's visionary chefs are more than great cooks; they are people who have made Northern California an epicurean epicenter. Today and in the next two Food sections, I'll profile 20 of these innovators who have helped... More

Best Pizza in San Francisco, According to Michael Bauer

Michael Bauer, food critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, recently named his six favorite pizzerias in the Bay Area. Bauer has been writing a weekly blog post about San Francisco pizza for nearly a year now, usually with accompanying videos, and I guess he feels he has surveyed the field thoroughly enough to weigh in with a definitive list. Or maybe he's finally sick of pizza. There are some surprising names on the list, along with a few sure-to-be-controversial omissions. The omissions are sure to bring out a hornet's nest of protesters. They include Chicago-style Zachary's, the most popular... More

Eats for San Francisco iPhone Line-Waiters

With Apple HQ in nearby Cupertino, there's got to be a lot of iPhone freaks in San Francisco willing to stand in line to grab a 3G handset the minute it's released on Friday morning. In anticipation, we asked our SF correspondents Jennifer Maiser and Harold Check for their picks. Apple Store, Stockton Street View Larger Map 'wichcraft: Tom Colicchio's great sandwich options, like the fried egg one available all day, can be found at the Mission Street entrance of the Westfield Mall. 868 Mission Street, San Francisco CA 94103 (map) [JM] Medicine Eatstation: About a five-minute walk from the Apple store with satisfying bento boxes to keep you energized. 161 Sutter Street, San Francisco CA 94104 (map) [JM] Bristol... More

The Chronicle on Zuni Cafe's Pizza

I usually try to link to Michael Bauer's Pizza Friday series each week, but I neglected to last week, which is when he took a trip to Zuni Cafe in San Francisco. (Yesterday he went to Piatti, but it's a chainish place and I'd rather highlight a cool place like Zuni in this space.) Anyway, Zuni Cafe makes a "thin-crust Italian-style" pizza, according to Bauer. After the jump, a tasty video from the Chronicle.... More

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